RE: Future Trends in Technical Writing (WAS: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 13, Issue 28)

Subject: RE: Future Trends in Technical Writing (WAS: TECHWR-L Digest, Vol 13, Issue 28)
From: "Nuckols, Kenneth M" <Kenneth -dot- Nuckols -at- mybrighthouse -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 08:24:31 -0500

Dave Till said...
> Hi, everybody. I was curious about future trends in technical writing
> employment.
> Recently, a career counsellor I was talking with suggested that the
> future of technical writing would likely be in sectors other than the
> sector. Do you agree with this? And, if you do, where do you see
> technical writers being employed a few years down the road?

My own unscientific, uncorroborated observational research (basically
reading the news, keeping an eye on the markets, and seeing what is
going on in the world around us) would lead me to suspect that the four
industries where we will see the biggest growth in a need for technical
writers are these (in no particular order):

1. Health care / medical technology
2. "New" or "Alternative" power generation technologies
3. Environmental cleanup / recycling technologies
4. Computer software / IT industry

The population of the United States, Canada, Japan (and most of the
industrialized world) is getting older, making health care an
ever-increasing concern. And in the developing world, the continuing
scourge of AIDS and the resurgence of older diseases affecting youth and
adults of childbearing age makes the search for treatments and cures and
the development of new medical tools for diagnosis and treatment a

Power generation and environmental concerns are finally something that
the industrialized west is beginning to take seriously due to the rising
price of oil and the impact of fossil-fuel pollutants on health and
their potential long-term influence on climate.

And as long as the world is relying more and more on computers instead
of less and less on them, the IT industry is going to continue to need
documentation--if not for consumers, then at least for the engineers
that create the software and build the hardware.

Again, this is based on unscientific observations of my own, and are not
backed up by any empirical research.

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